Scientist, Author, Educator, Tree Canopy Biologist


Tardigrades publication by NSF undergraduates involved in the “Wheelchairs and Water Bears in Temperate Forest Canopies” program

Congratulations to my undergraduates from our NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant “Wheelchairs and Water Bears in Temperate Forest Canopies” for their first publication! This article describes a new species of tardigrade from the trees of Kansas, illustrating that discoveries are everywhere, even in our own backyards.

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New Ethopian Church Forest, Wonchet, Conserved

NEW CHURCH FOREST CONSERVED! The church forest called Wonchet, located outside of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia is almost entirely walled, thanks to donors of TREE Foundation. Here are some recent photos, including a blessing by the regional priest! Thank you to all of TREE’s forest conservation stewards!

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Wheelchair Bound Biologists Study Treetops Thanks To Climbing

A video news story on Dr. Meg Lowman’s Waterbears and Wheelchairs program featuring student Rebecca Tripp. This was filmed during the Academy’s first public climb in the East Garden earlier this month.
August 20, 2014

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Update on Ethiopia church forest sites

Wonchet Michael 2

Alemayehu provides this update on the church forest sites:
1. Group 1: Already started projects Woji and Debresena. This is still in progress.
2. Group 2: New sites: Wonchet (The priest who requested repeatedly around Zhara) has started stone collection. Another is named Goha Mariam which has already started

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A wheelchair doesn’t stop this scientist from soaring to the treetops

From Student Science’s Eureka Lab:
Rebecca Tripp speaks about her research with real passion, emotion that goes far beyond the fascinating organisms she studies. When she talks about her research with tardigrades, tiny, eight-legged creatures that she collected from the tops of trees, she doesn’t just talk about

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Google Maps, Canopy Climber Save Dry Ethiopia’s Church Forests

Conservation biologist Margaret D. Lowman in Ethiopia, home to unusual Coptic churches surrounded by forests. Source: California Academy of Sciences via Bloomberg

Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Dr. Meg Lowman regarding the church forests in Ethiopia. Article written by Manuela Hoelterhoff in Bloomberg News:
Conservation biologist Margaret D. Lowman spends a lot of time balancing at the top of trees. To get there, she’s designed hot air balloons and travels the

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Dispatch from Ethiopia: Curse of the Church Forests

Dr. Lowman’s article originally posted at
I’m swallowing mouthfuls of dust each day driving long distances through a landscape parched by East Africa’s annual dry season. The majority of roads are not only dusty; they’re unbelievably rough, and our four-wheel-drive’s dysfunctional shock absorbers subject us to a

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Are church forests key to conservation in Ethiopia?

Article from Deutsche Welle (DW) that provides an excellent summary of Dr. Lowman’s conservation efforts in Ethiopia:
In the highlands of Ethiopia efforts are underway to protect the cultural and biological resources of an ancient landscape. The key to regeneration may be as old as the book of Genesis itself.

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In My Nature

in my nature

NSF REU co-speaker Rebecca Tripp’s article “In My Nature” has been published in the Dec/Jan 2013/2014 issue of  Ability Magazine:
Growing up on the rugged coast of Maine, with mountains, fields, forests and wildlife around every turn, I developed a deep love of the natural world at a

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Interview with NSF REU co-speaker, Rebecca Tripp

Below is an interview with Rebecca Tripp discussing how she became a canopy biologist from a wheelchair. She talks about the summer research program she participated in with the REU Canopy Explorers.
Read more and listen to the podcast on

Show run time is 35 minutes.

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